Back to All Events

Design Camp

  • Ulster Museum Botanic Gardens Belfast BT9 5AB United Kingdom (map)

Belfast Design Week's conference is taking place on Saturday 04 November at the beautiful Ulster Museum. We are excited to hear from 5 international and local design speakers sharing their Design Connections stories.

We are also excited to add in a unique workshop '26 Letters with Design Potential' with New York design studio HAWRAF.

Bailies coffee will be joining us in the morning to make sure you have your caffeine fix and we'll have some limited edition #BDW17 tote bags to give away on the day!

10.10 // Opening Remarks by Alex Milton
10.15 // Marina Esmeraldo
11.00 // McGonigle McGrath
11.45 // Keelin Coyle, WorkGroup
12.30 // Lunch
13.25 // Carly Ayres, HAWRAF
14.10 // Damian Cranney
15.00 - 17.00 // Workshop w/ Carly Ayres




Carly is a writer, creative director, and, most recently, a partner at HAWRAF, a freshly minted design studio based in New York. Born out of Google's Creative Lab, the studio focuses on creating compelling branding, marketing & communications that engage audiences in new ways. 



Marina Esmeraldo is an illustrator and tropical child from Brazil, living and working between London and Barcelona. After working several years as an architect, she had a quarter life crisis and set up her own illustration practice in Europe, creating work for fashion, music, publications & brands.

She has exhibited around the world, including in the Venice Biennale, and been awarded honours in Europe, the U.S. and Latin America. Her witty and vibrant illustrations continue to attract a range of commissions and her style is bursting with experimental shape, pattern and composition, counting among her clients Google, Adidas, Haagen-Dazs, Refinery29, Lenny Letter, Wired, Women's March and many others.



McGonigle McGrath is an RIBA Chartered architectural practice based in Belfast, Northern Ireland, established in 2012 by Kieran McGonigle and Aidan McGrath, both previously the architect directors and owners of the award winning studio, Twenty Two Over Seven. 

The work of McGonigle McGrath is informed by a sensitivity to context and place, a consideration of form, materiality and craft, and an understanding of the quality and simplicity of buildings well made. A passion for the contemporary is moderated by their experience in conservation and a respect for the vernacular. Knowledge of proportion and a fascination with composition through modern art and photography are constants that help the practice navigate through the process of making architecture, from landscape to building to detail, returning again to the landscape, observed as a translation of lines. 

The work of the practice has been recognised with success in RIBA Awards and RSUA Awards programmes, and ongoing studio work has been exhibited in both Belfast and Dublin. 

Current and recent projects include a contemporary extension to a listed townhouse to provide a second Home from Home in Northern Ireland for the cancer charity Clic Sargent, a new rational brick dwelling in a natural clearing of ancient oak within a listed and part walled demesne, a new dwelling on the steep banks of the Shimna River in the foothills of the Mourne Mountains, and a restoration of a 18th century Sail Loft at Belfast Docks. 

McGonigle McGrath have also featured in the final stages of reviews for UK’s most prestigious architecture prize, reaching the midlist of the RIBA Stirling Prize for their House at Maghera in 2015. The work of the practice has been widely published.



Keelin is part of WorkGroup, the Dublin based studio who create useful, beautiful visual identities, websites, publications and design for print and environments. Our clients are a diverse group; from startups to large and established organisations.

With experience in award-winning studios in Amsterdam and New York, she has also acted as Assistant Lecturer in Visual Communication at Parsons School of Design, New York.



Damian is Founder and Partner of Big Motive – a digital design and innovation studio with offices in Belfast and London. Throughout his career, he has advised a wide range of brands, businesses and technology startups – advocating design thinking approaches to create products, services and experiences that solve business problems while addressing the needs of users, audiences and customers. Past clients include Diageo, Unilever, Honda Motors Europe, Nike, Oracle, Hertz, MTV, TG4, BBC, Channel 4, National Trust and Net-a-Porter.

Damian leads his team at Big Motive to deliver expert services spanning user experience research and design, service design, digital product design, digital transformation and innovation consulting. Big Motive’s mission is to help and empower visionary teams to design products and services that inspire growth and make the world work better.


We've added some extra fun to the Design Camp day! Join New York design studio HAWRAF in an action-packed 2 hour A-Z making workshop at Design Camp. For A-Z, each hour, a word is chosen at random from the dictionary. Participants must make something that responds to the word (our brief) — within the hour and budget. At the end of each hour, participants document, evaluate, and upload the work.

Some examples of the kind of things they created with the Letters C (for Cohabit) and O (for Oeuvre)! 

For the full project so far:

For student tickets, a valid form of Student ID must be shown at event.

Earlier Event: November 4
25 Pop Up